A baby's skin is more susceptible to dryness than an adult's because it is more delicate. You may find that your baby develops patches of dry skin on his face when exposed to extremes of temperature, such as cold in the winter and heat in the summer. Additionally, indoor heating, air conditioning, swimming pool chlorine and salt water can all dry out an infant's sensitive skin.
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Cut Back on Bath Time
Water strips the skin of its natural oils, so one way to treat dry patches of skin on your baby's face is to keep washing to a minimum. Use warm water instead of hot to wash your baby's face alongside a fragrance-free, soap-free cleanser. If your baby is prone to dry patches on skin elsewhere on her body, keep her baths short. A few minutes is enough.
Apply Lots of Moisturizer
Pat your baby's skin dry as soon as you take her out of the bath and quickly apply moisturizer to her dry patches to seal in the moisture on her skin from the water. Two of the best moisturizers for a baby's dry skin are petroleum jelly and aloe vera, says KidsHealth. Petroleum jelly helps lock in moisture and rehydrate the skin. After washing and gently patting dry your baby's face, apply a very thin layer to the dry patches. Leave it to absorb into the skin and work its magic. Aloe vera gel's natural moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties also help to rehydrate a baby's dry skin. Apply the gel to the affected parts of your baby's skin and leave it to soak in completely. Repeat this process at least twice a day, or as often as necessary.
Create an Oatmeal Facial Wash
Oats, known for their soothing properties, have been used for centuries to treat eczema and other dry skin conditions. KidsHealth suggests creating an oatmeal facial wash to help treat your baby's dry skin. Blend 1 cup of rolled oats in a food processor until it is a powder. Add it to a basin of warm water and mix until the water turns milky. Soak a clean face cloth in the water and gently place it on the dry patches of skin on your baby's face. Take care to avoid his eyes, nose and mouth.
Treat the Skin with Care
Your baby's skin must be treated with extreme care to help minimize any pain or discomfort caused by the dry patches. Keep your baby's fingernails trimmed so she doesn't scratch the dry patches. Soak a clean face cloth in cool water to create a compress to apply to the skin to ease itching. Avoid all possible irritants, such as lotions and moisturizers containing alcohol and clothes made from rough materials such as wool. Keep your baby's room temperature no higher than 65 degrees Fahrenheit to stop her overheating, which can exacerbate the dryness.